Intel Corp. reportedly plans to ship its next-generation Intel 6-series "Cougar Point" chipsets that support the company's next-generation Sandy Bridge microprocessors in mid-October, 2010. This leads to assumptions that the company will begin shipments of actual next-gen central processing units (CPUs) sometimes in November this year.
Motherboard makers are projected to start receiving volume shipments of Intel's 6-series core-logic sets starting from the 42nd week, which begins on October 18, 2010, a report from DigiTimes web-site claims. Typically, it takes several weeks to manufacture mainboards and deliver them to actual system makers. As a result, it is highly likely that the chip giant will start to deliver Sandy Bridge microprocessors to system builders sometimes in early November.
The first breed of chips based on the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture will be aimed at mainstream consumers and are likely to be formally launched during the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in early January. Intel will release the new CPUs as a key part of the Sugar Bay platform, powered by Intel 6-series chipsets. Shipments of Sandy Bridge-based desktop chips will account for around 3% of all Intel desktop processors in Q4 2010, hence, it is not likely that the company will speed up their release and launch them already in 2010.
Already in Q1 2011, Intel plans to rather substantially increase the share of its Sandy Bridge chips among desktop processors to around 12% - 13% (~6% - Core i7, ~5% - Core i5, ~2% - Core i3). In Q2 2011 the share of Sandy-Bridge-based processors will be even greater since Intel intends to release Pentium processors powered by the new micro-architecture for entry-level markets and they usually require high volumes.
The first Intel Sandy Bridge chips will feature two or four cores with Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technology as well as integrated graphics processor that will actually be on the same die as the x86 cores, according to previous reports. There will be a lot of different models with 65W (dual-core, quad-core )or 95W (quad-core) thermal design power. The new processors will use LGA1155 form-factor and will only be compatible with platforms based on the Intel 6-series chipsets.
The key feature of Sandy Bridge Intel AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) which, when used by software programmers, will increase performance in floating point, media, and processor intensive software, according to the Intel. Key features of Intel AVX include wider vectors, increasing from 128 bit to 256 bit wide, resulting in up to 2x peak FLOPs output; enhanced data rearrangement, resulting in allowing data to be pulled more efficiently, and three operand, non-destructive syntax for a range of benefits. Intel AVX can also increase energy efficiency beyond the increases brought by the micro-architectural innovations, and is backwards compatible to existing Intel processors.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.